U.S and Europe plan to impose sanctions on Russia unless it stops violation of Ukrainian sovereignty
By Ana Robakidze
Friday, March 14The US Senate condemned Russian aggression in its neighboring countries in a new resolution adopted on March 11th.
In a resolution condemning illegal Russian aggression and economic coercion in Ukraine, the Senate condemned the Russian military seizure of the Ukrainian Crimea and demands the immediate withdrawal of Russian forces except as allowed for by treaty. The document brings the occupation of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions as one of the examples of Russian aggression.
“President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Federation has a history of bullying neighboring countries in an attempt to rebuild Russian dominance on its borders--often under the guise of protecting Russian citizens--including forcibly seizing the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of the independent Republic of Georgia in 2008…The Russian Federation continues to illegally occupy South Ossetia and Abkhazia and has erected fences along administrative boundary lines and permanent military bases in violation of the cease fire agreement negotiated with the European Union,” the resolution says.
The Senate says on February 27, 2014, heavily armed soldiers, who were without identification or insignia but clearly belonging to the Russian military, began securing key facilities in the Crimea and gained effective control of the region.
The resolution “urges the President to use all appropriate economic elements of US national power in coordination with US allies to protect Ukraine's independence, sovereignty, and economic integrity, also to use economic and diplomatic measures, including calibrated sanctions, against those responsible for the seizure of Crimea. The resolution calls on President Barak Obama to propose to G-8 nations to suspend the Russian Federation, and to propose to our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to suspend operation of the NATO-Russia Council and suspend the Russian Federation's military and diplomatic representation at NATO.
US Senators also address European states to take similar and coordinated actions to make it clear to the government of the Russian Federation that violating the territorial integrity of sovereign nations will have significant consequences. In the resolution it is said that the Russian Federation should engage in a dialogue with Ukraine on a political and diplomatic path that respects Ukrainian sovereignty and the Crimea's historic and ethnic makeup.
The European Union has already moved on placing some sanctions on the Russian Federation. EU foreign ministers approved a document on March 10th, which made the first sanctions against Russia since the end of the Cold War.
According to Reuters “European Union member states have agreed on the wording of sanctions against Russia, including travel restrictions and asset freezes against those responsible for violating the sovereignty of Ukraine… The measures are being coordinated with the United States, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan and Canada, an effort to ensure the sanctions net is as tight and effective as possible.”
Reuters also informs that the sanctions were approved by what is known as a silence procedure after none of the EU's member states raised objections to the wording by 11.00 GMT on Wednesday, March 12th. EU foreign ministers plan to officially sign off on the restrictions, unless there is a dramatic change of course by Russia.